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The Bot Revolution is coming to HR


Max Kreimerman

The age of robots is here. But it’s not how science fiction movies have imagined it, chatbots and AI are becoming familiar names as their technology improves. And companies large and small are realizing it. In fact, five years from now, CEOs are looking to chatbots to make up 85% of customer interactions according to this Forrester survey.

From the company’s point of view, chatbots are more efficient, cheaper and faster than humans. Xentric’s bots have the ability to understand natural language and machine learning and therefore the dialogues and tasks they work with improve day by day.

Of all the industries that currently adopt chatbots and Artificial Intelligence in their work processes, HR seems to be the most behind. A study by Deloitte reveals that 22% of high performance HR organizations are implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in their businesses. Only a meager 6% of lower performing organizations are doing the same. There is a big gap.

Since the Industrial Revolution, companies have had the drive to produce more with less — that process of creative destruction is still going on today, getting more and more accentuated. It has also had a significant impact in terms of productivity, allowing to do much more with much less. It has also boosted the geographical distribution of tasks.

Due to an increasingly distributed workforce, the widespread adoption of mobile technologies and the demographic evolution of employees, which includes “millennial” workers, business training is being reformed and requires more efficient mechanisms in personnel selection processes and others.

Bots technologies automate manual, repetitive and rule-based tasks. They are also easy to put into production. With Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, HR chatbots can collect, analyze and record information while interacting with users either by voice or text, homologating a human in restricted scope tasks.

Below we will look at some of these tasks and how the bots might be changing the way HR works:

1. The HR bots for recruitment

20 years ago, recruitment could be done by a team of one person. However, as the company grows, bringing in hundreds of employees can be a daunting task. If in the past you received 5 applications for a position, today it is common to receive 300 to 1000 CVs for a position.

Scale is a big problem for HR. Chatbots can simplify this process by getting information from the applicants, giving them instructions and doing background checks and eventually some knowledge checks like preliminary interviews (by voice or whattsapp).

2. HR bots for the induction process of new employees

After new employees are hired, they undergo an induction process to bring them up to speed immediately. This is easy to do with just a couple of new hires. But for larger or fast-growing companies, HR chat bots make induction easy by talking to employees and even interacting with the company’s ERP software, and teaching through small quizzes or knowledge nuggets.

3. HR bots for employee training

Who wants to sit around and watch standard training videos and boring PowerPoint presentations all day? I bet even the person giving the training doesn’t like it. The use of training bots is very effective because they are more interactive, allow learning through small sessions (Nuggets) and allow to deliver to sales forces or field operations the latest news (promotions, technical features, etc) either by voice, sms or whattsapp and generating, in the process, an important knowledge base of the processes, products and mechanisms of operation of the company.

4. The HR bots for the registration of benefits, vacations and others

Did you know that in benefits enrollment alone, employees are already spending hours completing the required information and trying to understand the process? Benefits enrollment is confusing and could lead to lost productivity hours. Not to mention that it is also prone to errors. HR robots are less likely to make mistakes, are not confused, and can guide employees to enroll their benefits quickly.

5. HR Bots for Business FAQs

How many times have you answered the same question? The creation of a support centre dedicated to answering frequently asked questions about company policies is old and expensive. By using chat robots along with machine learning and the ability to understand natural language, your company can have a mobile human resources assistant that answers questions quickly!

Some common employee questions that HR robots can answer include health benefits, vacation days, payroll inquiries, absences, etc.

6. HR bots for performance evaluations

Do you still use a pencil and a set of questionnaires to evaluate your employees? If so, then you are not one of the more than 58% of HR managers who say that the traditional review process is a thing of the past — slow, ineffective and outdated.

In business, there is this so-called Pearson Act that says:

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.

That is the very essence of performance reviews. And by using HR’s chat robots, your employees can receive instant feedback on their performance, enabling them to get better results quickly!

7. HR bots for license requests

Processing vacation requests through spreadsheets for hundreds of employees is a big and boring task. Using the HR bot, employees can create leave requests immediately, even while they are on the road. HR managers can benefit from real-time reporting tools, knowing who is out of the office even before the office opens, and powerful information tools.

HR has a lot to do with recruitment, hiring, salaries, payroll and training, to name a few. Most of these tasks are repetitive in nature and require massive amounts of hours and manual labor. By using Xentric’s Artificial Intelligence and text and speech bots to automate these processes, companies can save a huge amount of time, money, and effort.

Here are some of the reasons why HR robots are the future:

1. Quality of Service

Humans are prone to mistakes. And some can be quite costly. The use of HR bots reduces the risk of error, thus improving the overall quality of service.

2. Fast and efficient

How quickly can you respond to an urgent request? With Xentric’s HR bots, urgent requests are handled in a matter of seconds. No human can beat that.

3. Uninterrupted operations

Unlike their HR staff, HR bots don’t take vacations, or even lunch time. They are serving your business nonstop, while producing the same quality of service every time.

4. Easy to Scale

With traditional processes, expansion can mean hiring more employees and opening new offices, which is expensive and time-consuming.

5. Effective use of human capital

Using the best talents to handle routine tasks is a waste of valuable labor. By letting the bots handle the routine stuff, HR staff can focus on more important issues such as developing an employee engagement strategy.

6. Rapid Return on Investment

Investing in human capital and equipping them with the right tools is costly. Therefore, a higher return on investment. With bots like Xentric’s you pay per use and can achieve a return on investment in a matter of weeks or months.

7. Internal Control

Compliance checks and operational audits can be carried out internally.

8. Relatively inexpensive

HR bots are scalable and cheap. Thanks to reduced overheads and the need to NOT hire additional employees to manage your growing workforce.

There’s always another side to the coin. Using chatbots for HR also has its own challenges. Here are a few:

1. Data privacy

It’s not just HR robots. Data privacy has been an issue since the Internet was born. And several countries are implementing stricter measures to protect personal data. When choosing an HR bot, make sure the data is fully encrypted and secure. Xentric’s on-premise and cloud-based HR voice and chat bots are two of your best options.

2. Ethical and Legal Issues

For example, an employee asks:

“I have a heart problem. What’s the best health plan for me?”

You don’t want your bot to play Dr. Google and recommend specific health plans on a case-by-case basis. Instead, you should take the employee to generic guidelines on how to choose health plans. Relying on AI to fully automate such requests may have some legal and ethical implications.

3. Audit

An ideal HR robot should have the ability to store all employee interaction for future use. This way, if the day of the audit comes, the robot will have all the necessary information.

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